Chitradurga fort is a fort that lies on several hills and a peak overlooking a valley in the Chitradurga District of the south Indian state of Karnataka .
“Chitra durg(a)” literally translates to 'picturesque fort' in Kannada language that is spoken in the state, and this is also the name of the town Chitradurga where the fort is situated.
Chitradurga fort had various inscriptions on it when discovered that trace its history to the period of the reign of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka’s reign which is between 268 BCE to 232 BCE, and went into hands of Hoysalas many years after his reign.
Between 1500 AD and 1800 AD, Chitradurga Fort faced some turbulences as Vijayanagar empire in the region gained control from Hoysalas. After 1565 AD, the next clan that ruled here – the Nayakas – took control of Chitradurga and the fort, and they ruled the region for more than 200 years, until they were defeated by Hyder Ali of Mysore Kingdom, in 1779 AD. During all these years, Chitradurga Fort was central to the reigns, particularly of the Nayakas.
The Chitradurga Fort has around 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, 35 secret entrances, four invisible passages, water tanks and about 2000 watch towers which were built to guard and keep vigil on the enemy incursions.
The storage warehouses, pits, and reservoirs within the fort complex were primarily designed to ensure the food, water and military supplies for soldiers could endure long sieges.
The fort has seven walls. Each wall has a gate with ascending access through winding narrow corridors that could ensure attacks using elephants could not happen here. Four gates (called Bagilu) are given to the outermost walls:
Initially, the fort was built in mud but was subsequently strengthened with granite stone slabs in selected stretches during the course of the 18th century.
Chitradurg, where the Chitradurga fort is located, can be reached by air, rail or road.
Buses, trains and cabs are available from these to reach the fort easily.
The Chitradurga Fort is open to visitors between 10:00 AM to 05:30 PM every day. An entry fee of INR 20 (in case of e-ticket) or INR 25 (in case of cash payment) is applied for Indian citizens as well as SAARC & BIMSTEC country citizens or tourists, and INR 250 (in case of e-ticket) or INR 300 (in case of cash payment) is applicable for other foreign national visitors. However, neither fee is applicable to children who are below the age of 15 years.
Nearby attractions to the Chitradurga fort:
Also known as ElusuttinaKote (meaning the Fort of Seven Circles) by the locals, the Chitradurga Fort in Karnataka stands tall as the strongest hill forts of India. Reflecting the smart ways of water harvesting techniques in ancient India, Chitradurga Fort was built between the 11th-13th century by the rulers of the Chalukyas and Hoysalas dynasty and later the Nayakas of the Chitradurga of Vijayanagar Empire.